Have you ever come back from a much-deserved vacation only to feel like you’re not relaxed? It happens all the time in today’s fast-paced world. So here are 5 ways to help you relax and improve your mental health while traveling
To some people, this may sound counterintuitive when they’re trying to relax. We may think we need to lug our entire house with us to feel comfortable while we’re away.
In fact, packing lighter can:
- Literally lighten the load you have to carry. So there’s less physical stress on your body.
- Reduce the amount of time it takes you to get ready for your trip.
- Encourage you to get out and explore once you arrive, instead of getting absorbed in all the stuff you brought.
Don’t Overplan Your Trip
Some people tend to plan every minute of their vacation, leaving no room for spontaneity. But I’ve found that some of the most magical moments happen when we stop trying to be in control of everything and let our guard down a little. Those moments can do wonders for your mental health.
Traveling is a great time to place more trust in yourself and let go. As e. e. Cummings said, “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
Here are some ideas to allow those magical moments to happen while you travel:
- Leave the first day of your trip open to simply explore your surroundings.
- Ask a local where they would take a long-lost friend if they had only one day to visit.
- If you’re flexible, extend your trip by a day to do that one thing you couldn’t fit in your itinerary.
Practice A Hobby
One way to improve your mental health while on vacation is to take time doing something you already love. Play tennis. Go for a hike. Practice your photography skills.
You’ll feel good about yourself because practicing something you love makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something.
Just be sure to plan ahead if your hobby requires packing equipment like, tennis racquets, camera gear and accessories or hiking boots.
Meet New People
For a lot of people, making new acquaintances can be stressful. So this one may not be for you.
But if you’re a “people person”, meeting new people while traveling can be great for your mental health. When we interact with new people, one of our main goals is to find out what we have in common with them. And that often comes through a lot of conversation and laughter.
Here are some of the benefits of being social when you travel:
- Discovering things you have in common gives you a sense of belonging.
- Laughing is a great stress reliever.
- Gaining new perspectives through conversation is healthy for your brain.
Leave Your Work At Home
Not everyone has the luxury of completely checking out. Especially business owners. But to the degree, you can do it, leave your work behind so you can actually enjoy your travels.
Here are some tips for checking out from work:
- Put an out-of-office message in your voicemail and email with instructions on who to contact in your absence.
- Coordinate with your co-workers to cover for you while you’re out of the office.
- If you can’t totally check out, set aside two times each day to check email and voicemails. (If you followed the first two tips, you’d be surprised how little time this might take.)
How Do You Stay Relaxed And Improve Your Mental Health While Traveling?
Your ability to relax and enjoy yourself while traveling is important to improving your mental health. It’s the “need” in the phrase “I need a vacation!”
So how do you stay relaxed and keep mentally healthy while traveling?
About The Author
Jim Schubert is an avid traveler and landscape photographer. He has a passion for teaching beginners how to inspire others through their images at Schubert Photography.